Vermont GOP Gov. Scott seeks reelection in deep blue state

Voters in deep blue Vermont are deciding whether to send Republican Gov. Phil Scott back to Montpelier for his fourth two-year term

Wilson Ring
Tuesday 08 November 2022 14:00 GMT

Voters in deep blue Vermont were deciding whether to send Republican Gov. Phil Scott back to Montpelier for his fourth two-year term.

In Tuesday’s voting, the 64-year-old Scott was being challenged by Democrat Brenda Siegel and three independent candidates.

Since he became governor in 2017, Scott says, he has focused on minimizing the tax burden on Vermonters, ensuring that vulnerable Vermonters are helped and growing the economy.

Although a Republican, Scott was a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, and voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Scott led Vermont through the COVID-19 pandemic, winning high marks for helping the state avoid some of the harsh impacts felt by other states.

Along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan — neither of whom sought re-election in 2022 — Scott was often highlighted in national politics as among Republicans not caught up in the Make American Great Again version of the party that has emerged in recent years.

Scott is a fiscal conservative who has been reluctant to raise taxes or impose more of what he feels are onerous regulations that reduce economic opportunity in Vermont. The state is trying to counter a demographic crisis that has seen it losing young people.

But Scott also has pushed, he says, to grow the state's economy, make Vermont more affordable, and protect the vulnerable through efforts such as fighting the opioid epidemic, strengthening the mental health system and working to protect the environment. He has said he also wants to restore trust in government.

Siegel, a progressive activist who has focused on issues like housing, ending the opioid crisis and fighting climate change, ran for governor in 2018, coming in third in a four-person primary. In 2020, she ran for lieutenant governor, again coming in third in a four-person race.

Siegel says her experiences as a small-business owner and as a low-income single mother give her a perspective lacking in Vermont politics.


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